CELTIC’S Europa League rivals Zenit St Petersburg are “optimistic” their new pitch will be ready for the February 22 clash against the Hoops.

The Russians are replacing their old pitch at the Krestovsky Stadium and are in the process of laying a hybrid surface.

However, they have only laid half of the new pitch which is being imported from Denmark and are anxious to to complete the work on time for the Hoops’ visit a week after the first leg of their last-32 encounter.

The club’s Director of Infrastructure, Vladimir Litvinov, said: “The new pitch is about 50 per cent completed.

“But we are hopeful and remain optimistic the pitch will be ready for playing against Celtic.

“We have discussed the time scale with consultants and with experts from FIFA.

“We expect the match against Celtic to go ahead on the new pitch as planned.

“As far as we know, everything is on schedule.”


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